Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Smart changes can script a win for Virat Kohli at Centurion

Smart changes can script a win for Virat Kohli at Centurion

Dale, Morne (Morkel), Vernon (Philander) and KG (Kagiso Rabada) are a step above in that regard.

"India were in the game for 90 per cent of the match".

Credit has to go to Hardik Pandya for changing direction in his follow-through, fielding a ball nearly at square leg, turning around and going for and achieving a direct hit at the end that the batsman - Hashim Amla, slower of the two at that time - didn't expect action.

"In this series and for the rest of the summer, we will be looking to see how best we can fit four fast bowlers into whatever formula we come up with", South Africa coach Ottis Gibson told reporters this week.

As on day one, India's tight lines in the opening hour made scoring hard for the batsmen as South Africa managed just 23 runs in that period. Here he was in Centurion, as Virat Kohli threw the ball to him after just about an hour into the day's play. "So, hopefully over the next few months, we will get a lot of runs from him", said du Plessis.

South Africa had seemed set for a big first innings total when they reached 246 for three but some brilliant fielding and poor decision making combined to rattle their middle order and leave the honours even after the first day. The surface at SuperSport Park was nothing like that, however, with slow bowler Ashwin the one to profit on the opening day.

The special fielding and the panic in South Africa's batting has given India a great chance in this Test, but this was a lifeline. He bowled 31 overs. His game is easy on the eye but he is able to get that scoreboard moving at a pace when he needs to. "I like to think I've been dogged". My first-class teammates would advice that I have to develop a lot of patience, and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check.

Markram continued his impressive start to his Proteas career, striking 15 boundaries in a well-crafted 94 and Amla made 82, having been dropped by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel on 30, but India hit back after tea at Centurion.

Markram has two test centuries and two half-centuries in his first five tests and has been out in the 90s twice now in his first seven test innings. Youngster Lungi Ngidi might get his first opportunity on home-soil.

# R Ashwin appeals for caught behind.

Following Markram's wicket, Villiers (20) chipped in and along with Amla took the team to 199 until the swashbuckling batsman was clean bowled by Ishant Sharma. "You need to find the ideal balance to do well in South Africa especially where there is more bounce", he said. Du Plessis, though, set off for the quick single.

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